March 13, 2013

Tips to Prevent Low Back Pain

Back pain is a common injury in golf, due to the high velocity rotary forces that are placed onto the lumbar spine during the  golf swing. Tight muscles of the back and hamstrings need to be properly warmed up and stretched thoroughly beforehand. As the new season is ready to kick off, it is important to prepare your body ahead of time, in order to maximize your game, and prevent injury from occurring.

1. Warm-up with golf fitness exercises before playing. Get to the course a few minutes earlier and take some easy practice swings. Arriving right at your tee time, and trying to knock the cover off of the ball without warming up is a sure-fire way to strain lower back muscles.

2. Hamstring Stretch. Slowly bend over and reach for your toes to stretch out the hamstrings. Repeat this two times for 15 seconds each.

3. Standing Torso Rotations. From a standing position and looking down at the ball, hold the club out in front with an underhand grip and twist the upper body from side to side. This stretch will simulate the rotation that will occur during the swing. Repeat on both sides of the body for 15 seconds each.

4. Drink plenty of fluids. Studies show that cellular depletion is a contributing factor in back pain. Keeping the cells of the body replenished will help in injury prevention.

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5. Ice for 20 minutes. If back pain occurs or is tight at the end of your round or game, ice will help control inflammation. In colder weather, you may want to try heat to keep the back muscles loose.

Pat Pilage earned his Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Exercise Science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he played college football. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT), and Certified Golf Fitness Instructor through the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI-CGFI). Patrick is the President and owner of Optimum Fitness, where he specializes in developing and implementing golf fitness testing and programming for his clients. He worked for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a content expert, lectured for the NSCA’s National Symposiums and was a member of their Exam Development Committee in addition to contributing to the NSCA’s text books. Patrick is published with the NSCA Journal of Strength and Conditioning. He is a former Strength and Conditioning Coach from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University and played an integral role in Creighton’s teams winning MVC Championships in basketball, baseball and soccer. He has helped produce numerous professional athletes in the NBA, NFL, MLB and MLS.

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